Disc reviews - Gusto
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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Disc reviews

Sunday, June 26, 2016

JAZZCharlie Parker, “Unheard Bird: The Unissued Takes” (Verve/UM, two discs) Say WHAT? Hold the phone. Are they telling us hereby that there were “58 previously unknown never-listed studio takes of Charlie Parker, providing heretofore unheard improvisations?” So they are. All right, let’s admit it’s a two-disc... Read More

Thursday, June 23, 2016

JazzJeri Southern, “Blue Note, Chicago, March 1956” (Uptown).It’s a sizable irony that in her prime, Jeri Southern was almost completely forgotten and rather quickly at that. There were so many unquestioned empresses in the world of jazz song back then – the whole sorority of singers for whom only a first name... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, June 23, 2016

Classical J.S. Bach, “The French Suites BWV-812-817” (Harmonia Mundi, two discs). The always-winning harpsichordist Richard Egarr has a persuasive theory about why Bach’s “French Suites” have been relatively unloved both on record and in live performance compared to so much other Bach keyboard music. For... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jazz Jeri Southern, “Blue Note, Chicago, March 1956” (Uptown) It’s a sizable irony that in her prime, Jeri Southern was almost completely forgotten and rather quickly at that. There were so many unquestioned empresses in the world of jazz song back then – the whole sorority of singers for whom only a first... Read More

By Jeff Miers » Sunday, June 19, 2016

To confront Paul Simon’s “Stranger to Stranger” (Concord) is to confront the extent of your own ageism. For me, that meant dealing with the fact that my first reaction to this wildly inventive album was, “Wow, I can’t believe this guy is still pushing the envelope at 74 years old”. For others, Simon’s age... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Friday, June 17, 2016

Jazz/R&B Allen Toussaint, “American Tunes” (Nonesuch). This is not just a great 2016 record, but a towering but tragic moment in the history of American recording. Maybe this would have been the final record of Allen Toussaint if he’d actually known he was going to die of a sudden heart attack in... Read More

Sunday, June 12, 2016

CLASSICALBACH, Goldberg Variations, performed by pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei (Accentus). “All You Need Is Bach”: Selected Bach pieces performed by organist Cameron Carpenter (Sony Classical). The musical universe of J.S. Bach is so vast that you can have Bach records like these released at almost the same time and both... Read More

By Jeff Miers » Sunday, June 12, 2016

Lewis Carrol never heard the Lennon Claypool Delirium, but man, if ever there was an ensemble that could have served as house band at the Mad Hatter’s tea parties, this is the one.The super-group – or super-duo, actually, since the two nominal principals are responsible for every sound we hear on the freshly released... Read More

Thursday, June 9, 2016

JAZZBranford Marsalis Quartet with special guest star Kurt Elling, “Upward Spiral” (Okeh/Marsalis Music)Not merely a great meeting of a jazz vocalist and instrumentalist but a full and marvelous return to form for two huge jazz figures who’ve done some fruitless wandering of late. It was, I suppose, an interesting... Read More

Saturday, June 4, 2016

JAZZJon Lundblom & Big Five Chord, “Play All the Notes” (Hot Cup Records). This is not a young jazz band that sounds as if it’s afraid that Mom and Dad are about to march out to the garage any minute and berate one and all for playing music that couldn’t possibly be financially successful. Whatever its financial... Read More

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